A new reason to short GOOG

May 20, 2009

Mark Cuban was never really a big fan of Google. Or maybe it was always a love-hate-admire relationsship. Anyway, in one of his latest posts he writes about how people increasing find his blog and everything else they need not via Google, but via Twitter and Facebook. The shift he sees is huge. And it’s happening right here, right now. I think Mark Cuban just gave us a good, new, original reason to consider GOOG as a short candidate.

Bicycles as an investment theme

May 20, 2009

We live at a time where there are very few original investment ideas being put out there.  For a long time every asset class went up, followed by months where everything went down. It was, as they say, not a stockpicker’s market – it was all about direction.

And now we live in the great confusion. Should we buy buy buy because the government will do whatever it takes, or should we sell sell sell because, as Todd Harrisson likes to say “the cancer is bigger than the patient”? It’s a tough call. But where are the good ideas? Don’t tell me about solar or palladium or gold or biotech or another retail story. Tell me something new. Tell me about something like ehh… BICYCLES. Bicycles make sense to me. More and more cities are promoting bicycle riding, building bicycle lanes and so on. People want exercise and green solutions. They want cheap and they want solid. I was in Shanghai tree weeks ago – they have very nice cars but I did not see one nice bicycle. All their millions of bicycles are total rubbish. If you want another China bull story start watching out once people in China start buying nice bicycles, perhaps encouraged by their government.

Off course selling or building bicycles are horrible businesses. But companies like Shimano could be worth looking into as a long term investment idea as well as other bicycle gear companies (most of these companies like Giro, ABUS, Bell and Brooks are not listed though).

Portfolio

May 20, 2009

As of today my portfolio looks something like this:

HQ Sustainable Marime Industries (HQS) – large position

Air Transport Services Group (ATSG)

White Electronic Design Corporation (WEDC)

Northgate Minerals (NXG)

Andean American Mining (AAG.V)

XS Cargo (XSC-UN.TO) – extremely small position

FAZ (3X short Financials) – very short term

SRS (Ultrashort Commercial Real Estate) – very short term

Intro

May 20, 2009

This is a blog about creativity mostly as it applies to consumer products and financial speculation. I have started this blog to explore those two subjects, to develop and organize my thoughts and to inspire others.

I’m a romantic when it comes to ideas. The human brain doesn’t change much over the centuries, but ideas change the world. Call me willfully ignorant, but I choose to believe that ideas grow and succeed if they are powerful enough. I love producing new ideas. They energize and inspire and makes me feel that I contribute to something.

Jack Foster, the author of How To Get Ideas, quotes James Webb Young saying that

“An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements”.

That’s not only beautifully simple and true, but also hints at something bigger – that creativity connects you to the past as well as the future, while being very much in the present.

I have always been fascinated by investing and financial speculation. The payoff is quick and real, you are competing against millions of really smart people and there is just so much information to consider.

But spending your life doing financial speculation alone is somewhat unsatisfactory. After all, it’s only money.  Whenever I spend a lot of time on financial speculation, whether successful or not, I always miss doing something more important, something that concerns others, something deeper.  It is my hope that this blog will strike that balance, like a good news source that can at the same time cover fashion and gossip as well as genocide, war and hunger.